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djpretzel

New list formats for games, remixes! (report issues here)

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Tonight, after multiple hours of development that had my girlfriend yelling at me for breaking a promise to stop at 10:00pm, I uploaded modifications to OCR's list system that, in my opinion, represent a substantial improvement.

  • Multiple ReMixers are now credited, instead of just a count
  • Multiple composers are now credited, instead of just a count
  • Individual songs are listed, where available, for each mix
  • Japanese names of both games and composers are presented in context
  • Columns and font sizes have been rearranged for enhanced usability
  • System icons have been added to help distinguish game/remix records

Phew! Honestly, this was a boatload of work, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a couple issues that need to be fixed. Let us know what you think, and report any problems here!

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Lookin' great Dave.

Just want to throw this in to anyone who's going to reply to this thread:

Don't be a douchebag when giving your opinion. If you have any kind of problem with the new lists, talk about it intelligently. I know Dave's been working on this for quite a while now, so keep that in mind.

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I like them a lot.

I noticed that, for composers, there's an option to sort by Japanese name. However, you can't sort by Japanese name on any other fields that have Japanese names; I'm thinking mainly of game name here. Was that facility left out intentionally?

Not that I really have a pressing need to sort anything by Japanese name any time soon, but it seemed a little odd that you could only do that for composers.

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Nice work, Dave. This is just a really excellent way to present stuff. Everything redone is presented a lot more effectively. It definitely highlights the work I've done in filling in the major majority of the database information, only enhancing our ability to promote the composers and original tracks that inspired the works here.

For those who wonder why mixes themselves aren't posted every day or every other day, it's specifically because of the many projects djpretzel has been working on to improve the functionality of the site. I'm a fan of these new listings putting more information right at the casual viewers fingertips.

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I'm having trouble using the site's search functionality. I'm using Firefox 3 BETA 1, Windows XP. And now for a detailed bug report:

I try searching for games titled "zelda", I get a page that says:

Quick Search: Game contains 'zelda'

games 1 to 9 of 9

sys title / publisher / year composer(s) chip mixes

But no games are listed.

Composer field also broken:

Quick Search: Composer contains 'tanaka'

name / 名前 links games mixes

No composers are displayed

When I search using the "remix" field for, say, "zelda", it says "remixes 1 to 50 of 86", but shows only 36. When I go to the second page it says "remixes 51 to 86 of 86 previous page", but shows the same 36 remixes as page 1.

Searching for remixer has the same behaviour as composer search:

Quick Search: ReMixer contains 'dj'

remixer name real name @ home lastfm mbrainz forum mixes

No remixers are displayed.

As long as I don't use the search, it works perfectly fine though. Good job =)

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I'm having trouble using the site's search functionality. I'm using Firefox 3 BETA 1, Windows XP. And now for a detailed bug report:

I try searching for games titled "zelda", I get a page that says:

But no games are listed.

Composer field also broken:

No composers are displayed

When I search using the "remix" field for, say, "zelda", it says "remixes 1 to 50 of 86", but shows only 36. When I go to the second page it says "remixes 51 to 86 of 86 previous page", but shows the same 36 remixes as page 1.

Searching for remixer has the same behaviour as composer search:

No remixers are displayed.

I can confirm those problems exist in Firefox 2.0.0.11, Safari 3 Beta, and Opera 9.10. It would appear to be a database problem on OCR's end.

Except for a few bugs needing squishing, everything looks fantastic. Kudos!

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I'm having trouble using the site's search functionality. I'm using Firefox 3 BETA 1, Windows XP. And now for a detailed bug report:

I try searching for games titled "zelda", I get a page that says:

But no games are listed.

Composer field also broken:

No composers are displayed

It works fine for me, if we're talking about Quick Search. Firefox 2.0.0.11, Mac OS X.

Also, it looks amazing :) Great work Dave.

If I (or anyone else) finds titles that are not avaliable in Japanese and then finds the translation, where do we post this information?

EDIT: It seems like there aren't many games with japanese titles avaliable. Not even Chrono Trigger. Is this intentional or a bug?

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Very nice updates, especially the system icons. Looking at all of the SNES icons that makes it that much easier to verify how popular and awesome that system was and still is =P Also, with just about everything being linked in each field, it really integrates content from the entire site nicely.

Issue: The mix count for each song is not displaying for me. e.g.

in the 'songs' tab of http://www.ocremix.org/game/sonic-the-hedgehog-gen/ the mix count is blank.

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It works fine for me, if we're talking about Quick Search. Firefox 2.0.0.11, Mac OS X.

Also, it looks amazing :) Great work Dave.

If I (or anyone else) finds titles that are not avaliable in Japanese and then finds the translation, where do we post this information?

EDIT: It seems like there aren't many games with japanese titles avaliable. Not even Chrono Trigger. Is this intentional or a bug?

I fixed the search late last night; incidentally, it now also supports searching for composers by their Japanese names or for games by their Japanese names.

We'll be filling in the Japanese names of games as we go. For same games this may not be available or may take much longer (if, for example, the game is obscure, or was never released and/or discussed in Japan).

I'll add sort by Japanese game title soon.

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I fixed the search late last night; incidentally, it now also supports searching for composers by their Japanese names or for games by their Japanese names.

We'll be filling in the Japanese names of games as we go. For same games this may not be available or may take much longer (if, for example, the game is obscure, or was never released and/or discussed in Japan).

I'll add sort by Japanese game title soon.

Sounds good. An idea might be to start a thread where people can post the Japanese names of games and composers (and the source to ensure it's right), then you can (after verifying them) post them in the first post or something so you and the staff has an easy way to start adding the names of both games and composer and an easy way to see what's been found already.

Also Japanese names for non-japanese games is not prio one imho :) The thing with Japanese titles for games is if that was the original title. Maybe for accessability for people from Japan but I don't think that's priority one, maybe you think different.

Anyway, nice work!

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Also Japanese names for non-japanese games is just stupid imho :) The thing with Japanese titles for games is if that was the original title. Maybe for accessability for people from Japan but I don't think that's priority one, maybe you think different.

It's a priority of sorts. Your stance is short-sighted in that we even have some games that were Japanese-only releases and the English names we use are translations. It should work the other way. Japan is the the other hub of video games and VGM; only makes sense to make the site more accessible to them.

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It's a priority of sorts. Your stance is short-sighted in that we even have some games that were Japanese-only releases and the English names we use are translations. It should work the other way. Japan is the the other hub of video games and VGM; only makes sense to make the site more accessible to them.

Quite short-sighted it seems, but since it seems like you have a lot of things on your hands I just thought it wasn't priority one. As I stated.

Anyway, ignore what I said about that then. I still think a thread for people to post translations would be an idea to make this quicker and to involve the community.

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A quick look, and I'm liking it. It's great that you can see from the 'outside' what songs are being mixed, and who did it.

The icons of the systems is going to take a bit to get used to, but in the end I think it's going to be better. The one thing I'm wondering; for those people with dial-up, will that take a long time to load? If so, might there be a text-only option or something?

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A quick look, and I'm liking it. It's great that you can see from the 'outside' what songs are being mixed, and who did it.

The icons of the systems is going to take a bit to get used to, but in the end I think it's going to be better. The one thing I'm wondering; for those people with dial-up, will that take a long time to load? If so, might there be a text-only option or something?

Since the icons are repeating and rather small, they should cache nicely and only represent a loading burden once in awhile. The additional amount of data being represented and the static 50 record increment are another question, but it should still be tolerable for dial-up users. A "lightweight" version might be possible - we'll see - but the current implementation will be the default.

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I had typed out a long list, but accidentally navigated away from it and lost it.

When you browse by remixer, emulator or song, the results are displayed in the old format. I don't quite understand why you keep a list of emulators in the first place (it seems incongruous with the rest of the categories), but I figure I'd point this inconsistency out. Albums, too, should perhaps be more in line with the new system by having a system icon next to the picture or something.

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I had typed out a long list, but accidentally navigated away from it and lost it.

When you browse by remixer, emulator or song, the results are displayed in the old format.

... thread title

I don't quite understand why you keep a list of emulators in the first place (it seems incongruous with the rest of the categories), but I figure I'd point this inconsistency out.

... thread title, plus: emulators are often the only way for some individuals to explore older game soundtracks for abandonware, or rip fx/etc. from games for use in mixes (not always a good idea, but can be done tastefully), and thus contribute to game music appreciation and preservation, part of our core mission.

Albums, too, should perhaps be more in line with the new system by having a system icon next to the picture or something.

Maybe, but then again, most of the albums are of games that are well known and don't require much explanation/disambiguation. Also, in general, once again: thread title - this is about the revised format for games and remixes. Modifications to the other lists will likely follow, but at some point in the future, hence their irrelevancy here.

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This looks pretty awesome. Liking it so far.

The only issue I have is more of an issue for all of us with a stock cruddy computer.

Can you link me to the text file that you use for your Japanese font? I have a few japanese fonts installed, yet the characters still appear as ?????

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I like the look of the icons in the games list, but I'm not sure they're necessary in the remixes list. It puts most of the visual emphasis on the console, which doesn't seem warranted in a list of remixes (highlighting the game would make more sense I think). It also results in a bit of visual redundancy when, for example, you get to the Chrono Trigger mixes and see 80 SNES icons in a row. This could be mitigated by using subheaders for each game, but I'm guessing you have your own reasons for not implementing those.

In general though, very nice work. Much more visually pleasing, even though it does highlight how ridiculously OCD Larry is. :D Maybe in the future consider getting permission from a 3rd party such as VGMdb or VG Composers List to import, interface with, or otherwise use their database, so that Larry doesn't have to waste time updating OCR with the same data.

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I like the look of the icons in the games list, but I'm not sure they're necessary in the remixes list. It puts most of the visual emphasis on the console, which doesn't seem warranted in a list of remixes (highlighting the game would make more sense I think). It also results in a bit of visual redundancy when, for example, you get to the Chrono Trigger mixes and see 80 SNES icons in a row. This could be mitigated by using subheaders for each game, but I'm guessing you have your own reasons for not implementing those.

They'd disappear when sorting by anything other than game name... pretty big reason :) I agree that they sometimes become redundant, but it'd be weird to have them disappear on sorting, and when sorting by anything other than game name or system, they're actually pretty helpful. Furthermore, without any icon whatsoever, the list can be pretty bland; they do draw the eye to what is arguably a less important factor of a mix, but they also make the overall list more pleasant to view & interact with imo.

In general though, very nice work. Much more visually pleasing, even though it does highlight how ridiculously OCD Larry is. :D In the future, you might consider interfacing with VGMdb's database, so that he doesn't have to waste time updating both sites with the same data.

VGMdb need to finalize their URLs and come out of beta, so links to them can be considered permanent; once I know I'm linking to something definitive (they'll probably want to SEO/Rewrite their paths, for example), I definitely intend to both link to them and incorporate their data where relevant. Hopefully they'll be open to doing the same - I've had some great conversations with their staff and I see our two sites having a lot of potential for cooperation.

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They'd disappear when sorting by anything other than game name... pretty big reason :)

Yeah, you'd have to change the subheaders to match the sorting criteria, which adds some complexity, but it should be doable. Not a big deal either way though, just something to think about for the future.

I agree that they sometimes become redundant, but it'd be weird to have them disappear on sorting, and when sorting by anything other than game name or system, they're actually pretty helpful. Furthermore, without any icon whatsoever, the list can be pretty bland; they do draw the eye to what is arguably a less important factor of a mix, but they also make the overall list more pleasant to view & interact with imo.

Fair enough. I won't argue that they add considerably to the appeal of the lists.

VGMdb need to finalize their URLs and come out of beta, so links to them can be considered permanent; once I know I'm linking to something definitive (they'll probably want to SEO/Rewrite their paths, for example), I definitely intend to both link to them and incorporate their data where relevant. Hopefully they'll be open to doing the same - I've had some great conversations with their staff and I see our two sites having a lot of potential for cooperation.

Awesome, great to hear this.

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Maybe it's just me, but in the case of just one game having multiple remixes, could it be consolidated into one block with small text links instead of just each song having a row despite its source from a single title..?

Otherwise it's pretty awesome :)!!

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... thread title

If you wanted the thread title to accurately and 100% reflect the changes you made, you probably should have said, "new list format for games, remixes, systems, composers!" I don't think it's fair to call me out on the title when you've actually done more than what it suggests. Because of this, I assumed this was meant to be site-wide and was trying to be helpful when pointing the inconsistencies out.

I saw (and you mentioned earlier) that that the number is now locked at 50. Why is that? Personally, I prefer to navigate through pages as infrequently as possible, and I display as many forum posts per page as I can for that reason. I would definitely like to see 100 items per page, or at least still have the option to.

When browsing systems, most of the systems are referred by their actual name, and not their abbreviations. For the most part, I am okay with the ones that are (like DOS, PC-FX and FM-7). But in the case of NES and SNES, I feel that you should have "(Super) Nintendo Entertainment System" or at least just "(Super) Nintendo." It seems strange to leave it in abbreviated form when Playstation and Playstation 2 are not. And, in speech, I hear it referred to as "Super Nintendo" more often than SNES.

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Yeah, you'd have to change the subheaders to match the sorting criteria, which adds some complexity, but it should be doable. Not a big deal either way though, just something to think about for the future.

Well... when I see a list of things, with or without sub-headers, and I sort it in a different direction, I really don't expect the format/layout to change drastically. I just expect the data to be sorted differently. This comes from using a lot of interfaces that present tabular data - I just expect sorting to occur, not reformatting, and I'd find it jarring to have things move around like you're describing.

What I might do is pursue some alternate, fixed-sort list presentations at some point (for example, present systems as a gallery of icons, or three columns for console-computer-handheld, or whatever), which at some point might be similar to what you're suggesting. In the meantime, however, I can't see doing the sub-headers because it would be, in my opinion, unorthodox to have them migrate on sorting.

I saw (and you mentioned earlier) that that the number is now locked at 50. Why is that? Personally, I prefer to navigate through pages as infrequently as possible, and I display as many forum posts per page as I can for that reason. I would definitely like to see 100 items per page, or at least still have the option to.

When browsing systems, most of the systems are referred by their actual name, and not their abbreviations. For the most part, I am okay with the ones that are (like DOS, PC-FX and FM-7). But in the case of NES and SNES, I feel that you should have "(Super) Nintendo Entertainment System" or at least just "(Super) Nintendo." It seems strange to leave it in abbreviated form when Playstation and Playstation 2 are not. And, in speech, I hear it referred to as "Super Nintendo" more often than SNES.

Locking to 50 makes keeping the overall page size more manageable, as I only need to test the one value, removes another querystring from the equation, which is always nice, but by far most importantly, reduces the number of queries that need to be cached. We're going to be adding more to the site, and keeping database and bandwidth performance in mind will be very important.

Full system names for NES and SNES (acronym, spelled out) made sense to me; implemented.

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I was trolling through the new index and noticed that "Of" and "By" were unnecessarily capitalized:

ReMix Of Parade Tune (Radical Rails) By

Not substantial, I know, but still figured it was worth pointing out.

How are icons assigned to games that appear on more than one platform?

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